By Bryan Bradford, Chief Nutrition Officer of Sunflower Shoppe Natural Foods
Posted Friday, February 06, 2015
The quality of the herbal supplements sold at big box retailers retailers came under fire last week. First, let us assure you: Sunflower Shoppe has not sold, nor does sell the supplement brands called into question. Nonetheless, we realize this scrutiny can create doubt and fear for customers trying to improve their health and wellbeing.
We have always believed that all supplements are not created equal. It is too soon to fully respond to these accusations without further investigation into the processes used for manufacturing and testing. We make every effort to ensure that the products we carry are of the highest quality available.
All facilities that manufacture herbal supplements are required by U.S. law to comply with strict current good manufacturing practice (cGMP) requirements enforced by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA). These requirements mandate that manufacturers have proper controls in place to ensure: quality, accurate labeling, that they contain unadulterated ingredients, verification of the identity of botanical ingredients and testing for such. The FDA regularly conducts inspections for compliance and takes swift action when standards are not met. Many manufacturers employ third-party testing, and all are required to perform several rigorous, in-house tests before products reach market. In fact, the natural foods and supplement industry has invited this oversight and involvement with FDA to ensure quality, as part of the DSHEA Act of 1994.
We at Sunflower Shoppe carefully and painstakingly select manufacturers who have a high level of commitment to these standards, who go above and beyond the required cGMP standards of the FDA. Our manufacturers’ facilities are certified by the likes of the United States Pharmacopia, the Natural and Non-Prescription Health Products Directorate Health Canada and the Therapeutic Good Administration of Australia. They use state of the art testing methods to assure quality and potency. Many of our staff have been to these facilities and seen these processes first hand. Our manufacturers strive to deliver the highest quality standards in the industry, and we have built trusted relationships with them over the years.
Steve Mister, president and CEO of Center for Responsible Nutrition, echoes our viewpoint in a recent statement issued this week: "Responsible manufacturers and retailers take careful measures to ensure their consumers can purchase high-quality botanical supplements that contain what is on the label."
At Sunflower Shoppe we share your commitment to good health. Despite the big retailers getting the big headlines this week, we appreciate your continued trust to provide you with high quality and effective ingredients in the supplements on our shelves.
The content and opinions expressed in this “Shoppe Talk” blog are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any illness or to provide medical advice. We are not medical doctors and we do not prescribe medication. If you have any questions about the relationship between nutrition and supplements, we recommend that you seek the advice of a qualified and licensed health practitioner. Our opinions are based on the literature and data from a variety of medical doctors, chiropractors, naturopathic physicians, biochemists and other professional researchers. You are encouraged to make your health care decisions based on your own research and the advice of a qualified health care professional.